KTR urges Centre to support ‘progressive’ states like Telangana

Hyderabad: Telangana Minister for Industry and Information Technology, K.T. Rama Rao, on Monday urged the Central government to support ‘progressive states like Telangana.

He said that despite being a performing state, Telangana is not getting enough support from the Union government, adding that performing states need to be incentivised.

The minister was participating in the PM Gati Shakti South Zone virtual conference on Monday. The conference was chaired by Union Road, Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari.

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KTR, as the minister is popularly known, highlighted the achievements of Telangana in the areas of manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, handlooms and textiles, power, coal and other sectors. The minister also highlighted that 35 per cent of global vaccine production takes place in Hyderabad.

“Telangana, the youngest state in the country, is blessed with natural advantages in geographical resources, a world-class skill base, and existing manufacturing practices and expertise, which have opened new opportunities for investments,” KTR said.

He stated that Hyderabad has several decades’ history of having strong a defence-related ecosystem. But the Union government has given the defence corridor to Bundelkhand where no ecosystem exists and neither the firms, he claimed.

The minister once again made a strong pitch for a defence corridor for Telangana. He said that the state is a major hub for defence institutions such as DRDO, DRDL, DMRL, RSI, and ANURAG, and in the recent past, many private defence companies have made Hyderabad their base.

“We submit that we are an automatic candidate for any defence corridor being considered as the state has a very conducive ecosystem in place,” he said.

KTR said that Telangana is a landlocked state which is considered by few businesses as a hindrance for the free movement of goods. He highlighted the need for providing an exclusive cargo rail network to different ports with increased frequency. If additional financial incentives are sanctioned for creation of logistic infrastructure, the state will set up dry ports, integrated and multi model logistics parks, he said.

He also highlighted the need for better road, rail and air network connectivity. He explained that the frequency of trains to the ports is a major problem which is being faced in spite of Hyderabad being well-connected by train with all the ports. He urged the Union government to consider increasing the frequency of trains for faster movement of goods.

The minister informed that the running trains are often cancelled owing to lesser load, often with little notice, creating uncertainty in the minds of exporters, who are being forced to use trucks as the mode of transport, which is leading to significant increase in logistic costs.

KTR stated that the North-South Freight Corridor passes through Telangana without touching the Hyderabad region. As most of the logistic facilities and industrial clusters are in and around Hyderabad, it would be a win-win situation for all if the freight corridor passes through Hyderabad to unlock the increased possibilities and multimodal last mile transport, he added.

KTR said that the ongoing flagship mission ‘Make in India’ has become an ‘Assembly in India’ programme. The electronics as well as IT/ITeS sector have to be given a big push as not even a single chip is manufactured in India. The state has a clear candidature for any electronic manufacturing cluster, and would definitely be able to host a plug and play facility, he said.

“If states like Telangana are encouraged, it would benefit entire India’s growth rate, and can contribute significantly to meeting India’s export target,” he added.

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